25 May 2017

News Story: Vietnamese Forces Block Indonesian Coast Guard

On Tuesday, Indonesia's Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries claimed that a Vietnamese coast guard vessel aggressively interfered with the arrest of a group of Vietnamese fishermen near the Natuna Islands. 

On Sunday, an Indonesian patrol boat detained five Vietnamese fishing vessels on suspicion of illegal fishing, and it got under way to bring the arrested fishermen back to shore. According to the Indonesian account, a Vietnamese coast guard vessel approached and blocked the patrol boat’s path.

Three more Vietnamese coast guard vessels approached the scene, and one of them rammed one of the detained fishing vessels, causing it to sink. Indonesian servicemember D. Gunawan Wibisono was on board the stricken vessel, and he was rescued and allegedly detained by a Vietnamese coast guard crew. 

After capturing Wibisono, the Vietnamese forces demanded the return of all of the fishermen and the four remaining fishing vessels. The Indonesian patrol crew gave up 44 of the fishermen, but the Vietnamese coast guard did not release Wibisono. 

Read the full story at MarEx